POTD: Unique Prototype R.B. Davis Semi-Automatic Pistol
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have a post-Christmas 2021 Photo of the day featuring an R.B. Davis 22 Long Rifle Prototype Pistol. This pistol was undoubtedly made to compete against other 22 long rifle pistol manufacturers of the time. In the late 1940s rimfire was making a comeback as an affordable way to go out and plink with family. Target style pistols such as this one were highly popular for their balance and precision although this one looks a little funky.
“Dated “AUG.19.1945” on the left side of the frame and marked “DAVIS AUTO./MADE BY/R.B. DAVIS/LEOMINSTER MASS.” on the right. The overall appearance and mechanics of this pistol bears a strong resemblance to Mossberg’s semi-automatic rifles, and also has shared elements with some known Winchester prototype pistols. The heart of the weapon is a straight blowback driven bolt in a tubular receiver with vent slits on both sides and a cocking knob that doubles as a bolt lock. Unlike the Mossberg, this lock does not double as a safety, and the pistol can be fired in single-shot mode with the bolt closed and locked, which would allow it to handle lower-powered ammunition. A manual safety labeled “OFF” and “ON” is installed on the right side of the grip frame. It has a dovetailed white bead front sight and a screw-adjustable “V” notch rear sight. A pair of hex bolts secure the grip assembly to the frame. It is fitted with a pair of checkered grip panels and an unmarked magazine. R.B. Davis has not been identified.”
Lot 1951: Unique Prototype R.B. Davis Semi-Automatic Pistol. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved December 26, 2021, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/65/1951/unique-prototype-rb-davis-semiautomatic-pistol.